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Driving a 4X Increase in Productivity with VTS

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ArtisREIT-Logo-Color

Asset type

Office, Industrial, Retail

Portfolio size

25M SF

Regions

Canada & U.S.

Artis REIT (TSX: AX.UN) is one of the largest diversified real estate investment trusts in Canada. Since 2004, the company has built a 25 million square foot portfolio of 230 office, retail, and industrial assets. Just over a year ago, several of Artis’ leasing team members left the organization and the Head of Asset Management took on the leasing function. But with a smaller team and manual leasing and approval processes, it was difficult for the company to stay on top of all of its leasing and renewal activities and manage its growth. The team needed a way to improve their efficiency and processes and looked to VTS for help.

In just over a year using VTS, Artis REIT has transformed their leasing and asset management processes and dramatically increased productivity across the organization.

“In the Toronto office, we lost two leasing bodies, and with the remaining two parties, we’ve managed to double the effective output of the number of deals completed using VTS – which effectively is a 4x increase in productivity.

Reggie Chan, Vice President, Asset Management

Challenges & Roadblocks

Why Artis REIT needed to transform their approach to leasing & asset management

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Manual leasing process

Without a single place to store deal updates, the team spent a lot of time compiling information from sources like spreadsheets, whiteboards, and napkins. There was also an unnecessary lag time while paper documents were moved from person to person across the company. In fact, Artis was losing deals in a tight market because they couldn’t get back to tenants fast enough.

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Lengthy approval process

The teams at Artis went through a lengthy process to get deals approved. Each person in the approval chain needed to print the spreadsheet containing the deal metrics, sign it, scan it, and send it to the next person until everyone signed off. It could take several weeks to get deals approved, and if an approver didn’t agree to deal terms, the entire process needed to be restarted.

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Limited insight into tenant relationships

Artis’ teams had no clear insight into their tenant relationships unless someone called a property manager. When starting a lease renewal, asset managers wouldn’t know basic information about Artis' relationship with that tenant — like if they were current on their rent payments. Without this information, the team could be at risk of negotiating a deal that wasn’t ideal for Artis’ portfolio.

Solution

Transforming the leasing & asset management processes at Artis REIT

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Reduced deal cycles

After just one year on VTS, Artis has cut their deal cycles by 38%. By managing all deal activity, including deal and tenant updates in a single platform, Artis REIT can see details about any deal in seconds. Despite losing half of their leasing colleagues, the team can respond to tenants faster, speeding up the entire deal process

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Faster negotiations & approvals

With VTS Deal Approvals, the team is approving deals 59% faster after just six months. Negotiations are now faster as everyone can see previous deal iterations, proposals, and counter proposals in one place. And when the executed offer is final, every team member that needs to approve it is automatically alerted and sees all supporting documentation in one place. They can sign off on deals from their desks or phones instantly, without having to print and scan spreadsheets.

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Faster tenant renewals

With VTS TRM, Artis is converting more of their tenant renewal deals, and faster. Property managers log every tenant update and interaction in VTS, giving the leasing and asset management teams immediate insight into every tenant relationship in the portfolio. When starting a renewal deal, asset managers check those interactions to ensure they're putting time into a good deal. Property managers can also see when a new deal proposal is created in VTS and alert the team if the relationship with that tenant has changed.

Results

-38%

in deal cycles after just six months on VTS

-59%

in time it takes to get deals approved

-36%

in time it takes to convert a renewal deal

Our deal process has changed considerably from how it used to be when we were running everything off of an Excel spreadsheet. VTS has drastically sped up both our negotiation and approvals processes.”

ArtisREIT-Logo-Color

Reggie Chan

Vice President, Asset Management

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